Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant made history by becoming the first tight end duo from the same school to be selected in the NFL Draft. Hockenson was taken by the Detroit Lions with the eighth pick while Fant was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 20th pick.
“That’s awesome. Noah is a great competitor and a great kid,” Hockenson said. “He is going to do well in Denver, I’m excited for him, and excited to watch the way he grows. We’re going to grow together.”
During Iowa’s 9-4 season in 2018, Hockenson caught 49 passes for six touchdowns and led the team with 760 receiving yards. The first team All-Big Ten performer was named Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year, and he was also recipient of the Ozzie Newsome Award from Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio, and the John Mackey Award as the top tight end in the nation.
Hockenson was named to multiple All-America teams, including first team by American Football Coaches Association and USA Today.
Fant caught 39 passes for 519 yards and a team-high seven receiving touchdowns. For his career, he had 78 receptions for 1,083 yards and 19 touchdowns. The touchdown total is the most by a Hawkeye tight end.
“Both of us are open for verdict, we haven’t played a down in the NFL yet,” Fant said. “We’ll see how it goes.
“I was happy for (T.J.). Going into the draft, I knew teams wanted different tight ends. There are different types of tight ends in our draft and it depends on what the team wanted. Detroit got a great tight end that fit their system and the Broncos chose me, which I’m happy about. I feel I fit well there.”